Monday, March 15, 2021

Women's History Month: Monday, March15, 2021: Two poems by Sarah Maclay, "Our Lady of the Goldfinch" and "Our Lady of the Chair"


Our Lady of the Goldfinch


Just one—yellow, yes, seemingly lonely

on her lap. Though she pets it, though the color

          is complicated by others—darker ones,

even against the morning’s orange air . . .

and then the striped wings in a child’s hand.

      Two slender, distant trees.

     And there are boys. The whole truth lying

on the grass. The rock they sit on—browning

               like a velvet moss, bugs and petals crowding bare

feet. A net of pine.

She can imagine someone,

someone to tell.

And sky, somehow, ripping through the fabric of a cloud,

             her dress.  As though her clothing tears from the inside, begins

to shred.

Everything needs stitching.

And night shows through—

in glimpses

if we could see its cracks  (and needles




across the entire canvas).






Our Lady of the Chair



It will not be electric,

not for this exercise.


It’s a simple chair,

a calm chair.



in a wooden room.


Nothing else

in the room.


Nothing in the chair

that we can see.

© 2021 Sarah Maclay

Sarah Maclay’s The “She” Series: A Venice Correspondence, a braided collaboration with Holaday Mason (What Books Press), follows Music from the Black Room; her first full-length, Whore, which won the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry, and The White Bride, a book of prose poems (all, UT Press). Her poems and essays have appeared in The American Poetry Review, FIELD, Ploughshares, Manoa, Blackbird, Hotel Amerika, The Best American Erotic Poetry, Poetry Daily, The Writer’s Chronicle, and Poetry International, where she served as book review editor for a decade. Her poetry has been supported by a COLA Master Artist Fellowship and a Yaddo residency, and awarded a Pushcart Special Mention. 

From 2008 – 2011, she served as artistic director of The 3rd Area, a reading series based in galleries in DTLA and Bergamot Station. A Montana native, graduate of Oberlin and VCFA, she teaches at LMU and conducts periodic workshops at Beyond Baroque.

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